Monday, May 21, 2018

The haunting

Maybe it's too much time to my thoughts in isolation during those quiet dark hours when Samantha wakes up.  Maybe it's too much time on my phone, on twitter and fb, and absorbing so much daily horror in the harsh light of electronics. Maybe it's late onset PPD?

I've felt haunted these past few weeks. The babies who never made it, particularly Celine, have invaded my consciousness.  Would she have looked like Samantha?  Would any of them have looked like my side of the family?  Would they have started rolling at only three months and be on their way to crawling early, as she is?  Would they have had her wide-smile (which actually *may* be my epigenetic contribution, because fuck if her smile doesn't actually resemble mine)?

A few days ago I broke down in the kitchen, a weeping disaster at 5am, as Viking was getting ready to go to work.  "Don't you ever think of them? Don't you ever wonder?" I wailed.  He was silent.  No, he said quietly.

My mom, when I tried explaining why I sounded so down, inelegantly advised me to try to "forget" about them.  "Would I ever tell you to forget about your father?" I responded.  That put then end to that.

Boy, we all say "grief isn't linear" in the grief community, it's a mantra in our tribe.  But FUCK, it really isn't.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Things that make me cry

1.  Exhaustion.  I mean this one is pretty expected, I sometimes feel like I'm about to keel over at any minute.  Samantha actually has some fairly decent sleep habits, but has maintained an absolute aversion to her father.  And they share a face, ha ha.  Genetics schemetics, this baby *only* wants attention from me.  I'm flattered kid, but being your servant 24 hours a day is getting a little rough almost 4 months in.

2. This book:
Wish (Hyperion Read-Along Book)

OMG.  This was a gift from a friend, another RPL warrior.  Niblet picked it up and read it alound to her sister,  When she was done, my usually snarky, eye-rolling, too cool for school 9 year old was gobsmacked.   "Whoa," was all she could say.

3.  You Are My Sunshine.
Every week we have been going to the public library for "Mother Goose on the Loose" story and nursery rhyme sessions designed for babies (they're pretty awesome by the way).  It's one of those things I really appreciate on my long maternity leave, something I never got to do with Niblet.

But every week we sing "You are my sunshine."  Jesus this song fucking breaks me.
You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy, when skies are gray
You'll never know dear, how much I love you,
Please don't take my sunshine away.

Am I the only parent with PTSD who is broken by this song?  It's insane, I'm sitting around with a bunch of moms, dads and grandparents, and welling up every. single. time.

4.  Having to return to work.

I am one of the few Americans offered a 6 month leave (much of it is unpaid).  I still have until July 19th, but it's looming.  Even with the sleep deprivation, thrushy nipples and feeling like a neglected cleaning lady/family chauffer, I am loving my time at home.

Being a SAHM isn't on the table.  I was recently promoted, I will make a comfortable income, way more that the cost of day care.  My work-husband was also recently promoted and can take a lot of the stress off of work for me.  But more importantly, I am the source of the family's health insurance.  Thanks America.  Sure, Viking can family coverage (we used his coverage for IVF), but it would cost a lot.  My benefits are insanely good - no deducible, no co-pays, 100% coverage on virtually everything for the entire family, dental, vision, Rx drugs.  You can't walk away from a benefits package like this.  I also get a small child-care benefit.  And four weeks vacation a year (which I burned on this leave).  Not to mention I have a pension, an actual pension. And my hours are for the most part, flexible.  I come and leave the office mostly when I want, and my VP lets us take our kids into work. It's like fucking fantasy land. Samantha will have to be in a day care center, but I can mitigate it a bit with shorter hours on a fairly regular basis.

She's going to the same center we sent Niblet to, though Niblet was about a year older when she started.  It's a great place, many of the care givers were there in Niblet's time, and those low turnover rates suggest the place could be a lot worse.  Niblet thrived there.  But I'm not happy about any of this.  I imagine the days that I drop Samantha off, and my eyes start to well up.  I feel fortunate to have the resources to make it all happen, but man, Scandinavia looks awfully good right now.